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Brussels, 31 March 2014
Joint Statement: Deepening the EU-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for mutual benefit
1. At the invitation of the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, and of the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, President Xi Jinping of the People's Republic of China visited the European Union in Brussels from 31st March to 1st April 2014. The Presidents had an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral, regional and international issues.
2. Both sides agreed that this first visit by the Chinese President to the European Union was a historic landmark in EU-China relations. They welcomed the significant strengthening of bilateral ties over the last 40 years, which have benefitted both sides and the world as a whole, and underlined their determination to strengthen the global dimension of their cooperation. Both sides are willing to deepen their understanding of each other’s development choices. The EU supports China's commitment to deepen reform comprehensively, and acknowledges China's goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, while China supports the European integration process, and acknowledges the EU's reinforcement of its Economic and Monetary Union.
3. The EU and China reaffirmed their commitment to deepening their partnership for peace, growth, reform and civilisation, based on the principles of equality, respect and trust, by comprehensively implementing the EU-China 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation. They agreed to review its implementation at the next annual EU-China Summit.
4. In order to advance their common interests in safeguarding world peace and stability, both sides agreed to enhance their cooperation in addressing regional and global challenges. Both sides emphasised multilateralism and the central role of the United Nations in international affairs. They underlined the importance of resolving international and regional disputes through peaceful solutions.
5. Both sides acknowledged the need to reinforce their cooperation on foreign policy and security issues. They decided to continue dialogue at the bilateral and multilateral levels to promote non-proliferation and disarmament. They underlined the growing role of trans-regional and regional dialogue mechanisms to promote regional peace and prosperity, and looked forward to the next Asia-Europe (ASEM) Summit on 16-17 October 2014.
6. Both sides reviewed a number of important international political issues including Iran, Syria, Ukraine and the security situation in their respective neighbourhoods. They welcomed the recent first round of the EU-China Dialogue on the Middle East and North Africa. They exchanged views on recent developments in Africa in view of the upcoming EU-Africa Summit.
7. Both sides welcomed the joint naval exercise on counter-piracy held on 20 March 2014 in the Gulf of Aden, which reflected the successful joint efforts of the Chinese Navy and of EU operation ATALANTA in strengthening maritime security and fighting piracy. The EU welcomed China's readiness to increase the frequency of escorts by the Chinese side of the World Food Programme vessels transporting food aid to Somalia, and both sides agreed to enhance their cooperation to the benefit of partners in the African continent. Both sides agreed to gradually raise the level of EU-China dialogue and cooperation on defence and security, and to conduct high-level exchanges.
8. The two sides reaffirmed the importance of the promotion and protection of human rights. Both sides agreed to deepen exchanges on human rights at the bilateral and international level on the basis of equality and mutual respect, and to strengthen their human rights dialogue with constructive discussions on jointly agreed key priority areas.
9. Both sides share responsibility for ensuring that their economies remain key drivers for global economic growth and providing prosperity for all. The EU and China reaffirmed their shared commitment to an open global economy and a fair, transparent and rules-based trade and investment environment, opposing protectionism. They reaffirmed their commitment to create the conditions for enhancing trade and investment exchanges on the basis of mutual benefit.
10. They underlined the necessity of coordinating their policies to ensure strong, sustainable and balanced growth and to foster financial stability. They reaffirmed their commitment to implement their G20 commitments and to reinforce their cooperation within the G20, IMF, World Bank and WTO on global economic governance.
11. The EU and China welcomed the outcome of the first two rounds of negotiations on an EU-China Investment Agreement covering investment protection and market access, and looked forward to the timely conclusion of an ambitious agreement. Negotiating and concluding such a comprehensive EU-China Investment Agreement, covering investment protection and market access, will convey both sides' joint commitment towards stronger cooperation as well as their willingness to envisage broader ambitions including, once the conditions are right, towards a deep and comprehensive FTA, as a longer term perspective.
12. Both sides welcomed the recently achieved negotiated solutions in major trade remedy cases. Both sides recognised the importance of a responsible resolution of trade disputes.
13. The EU strongly supports China’s swift participation in the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) negotiation. The EU and China consider the participation of China in the negotiation as an important stepping stone towards the future multilateralisation of TiSA. Both sides will step up their efforts, together with other parties, to work towards the conclusion of the negotiations on the review of the Information Technology Agreement.
14. In view of the great potential to improve their transport relations, both sides decided to develop synergies between EU policies and China's “Silk Road Economic Belt” initiative and jointly to explore common initiatives along these lines.
15. Given the importance both sides attach to the rule of law, they decided, based on the principle of equality and mutual respect, to continue to develop dialogue and cooperation on legal and administrative affairs.
16. The two sides expressed their readiness to learn from each other's reform processes. Both sides are committed to exchanging experience in such key areas as urbanisation, enhanced cooperation on the environment, regional development, urban-rural integration, governance systems and governance capacity building. They reaffirmed the importance of the EU-China urbanisation partnership as a key instrument to promote sustainable development. They looked forward to it being translated into concrete projects on the ground.
17. Both sides also reiterated their commitment to closer cooperation on global governance. The EU and China expressed their readiness to further strengthen EU-China dialogue on major international development issues, as well as their respective development policies, including efforts to formulate and implement the post-2015 development agenda and sustainable development goals.
18. Both sides recognised the need to strengthen cooperation on climate change in preparing a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change applicable to all Parties to be adopted in 2015 at the Conference of Parties to the Convention (COP21) in Paris. They underlined their commitment to making significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions through credible and verifiable domestic action. Both sides agreed on the importance of all parties presenting their contributions well in advance of the Paris meeting. The EU and China will cooperate on taking domestic action to avoid or reduce the consumption of HFCs and to work together to promote a global phase-down of these substances.
19. Both sides recognised the special importance of strengthening culture, education and youth exchanges between the EU and China. They decided to hold the next round of the High Level People-to-People Dialogue in May 2014. They agreed to enhance cooperation on mobility and migration issues. They supported the development of EU-China cooperation on sustainable tourism.
20. The two sides renewed their pledge to work for further progress in EU-China relations over the next decade to the benefit of the people of the EU and China and in the interest of world peace and prosperity.